"Laughing" insects among 75+ new species discovered in PH

(SPOT.ph) Laughing cicadas and "cat sharks" are only some of the over 75 new species that US and Filipino researchers discovered in the Philippine land and waters," reports Yahoo News. Despite this vastness, however, experts from the California Academy of Sciences and local institutions warned that the biodiversity is under severe threat.

According to the report, the team found a rich harvest of starfish, sea urchins, eels and barnacles which have not been previously documented, said Richard Mooi, a California marine scientist. "Unquestionably, we found 20 new species of starfish and sea urchins alone." Fellow scientist John Cosker, meanwhile, described the "cat sharks" as two feet long with brown backs, dark stripes and white bellies-colors he had never seen on a shark before.

The cicada, which releases a sound similar to high-pitched laughter, was discovered in Mt. Banahaw, a volcano in Luzon. "The local residents were afraid of them. They thought the laughter was from dwarves, laughing dwarves," Filipino entomologist Ireneo Lit said.

It would take several months to confirm the discoveries but Edgardo Gomez of the University of the Philippines’ Marine Science Institute said most of the finds were probably under the threat of extinction caused by pollution, overfishing and climate change. Head of the country’s Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau Theresa Mundita Lim agreed, saying that some of these species could become extinct before they are even documented.

For more on this story, log on to Yahoo News.


Saksi’s coverage on the newly discovered species

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